Brace yourselves: Kershaw has released its list of discontinued knives for 2017.
Many are not a surprise, but there are a few that made us look twice. I wrote a thorough post a few weeks ago about why some knives are discontinued and other knives live on, but it’s always sad to see some of our favorites get the boot.
At the time of this writing, we have most of these knives in stock, so if you want one before you’re forced to find it for resale, I suggest getting it now.
I thought it’d be pertinent to write the obituary for five of my favorite Kershaws not coming back next year. You can find the complete list at the end.
Although the Whirlwind lived a nice long life, its death was sudden and surprising. This knife has been around for more than 15 years, with the stonewashed version being slightly newer. OK, so maybe its long life was an indication that the knife would soon cease production.
The loss of the Whirlwind is quite personal to me, as it’s been my father’s reliable EDC work knife for years. He really enjoyed Sandvik 14C28N steel blade with the SpeedSafe mechanism.
Unfortunately, this knife has been around for so long that people are likely no longer interested in it. That and the more popular Kershaw Blackout is nearly identical to the Whirlwind (except for a black blade).
The death of the Shallot is like the death of one of the Beatles. The Shallot was part of the famous line of knives created by Ken Onion and named after relatives of the onion. Along with the Chive, Leek, and Scallion, the Shallot helped establish Kershaw as a formidable brand for folders.
The Shallot was the largest of the line —with a 3.5-inch blade—and likely received the least amount of love. All iterations of the Shallot are no longer slated for production (you can find links to the rest below).
Now that the band has broken up, it’s only a matter of time until the remaining three members are slowly picked off.
Kershaw Rainbow Leek
Speaking of the Onion series, one of the Leek variations is also kicking the bucket. Born in 2002 from a fascinating process known as Physical Vapor Disposition, the Rainbow Leek was colorful, ebullient, and unique. It came onto the scene with a bang, having won the 2002 Blade Magazine “Overall Knife of the Year” award.
The colorful process was so successful, it was extended to the Rainbow Scallion and Rainbow Chive. While the Rainbow Scallion and Rainbow Chive are also being discontinued this year, the Rainbow Leek will always be special.
It’s unclear why the rainbow series was discontinued, but it could have something to do with the PVD color finishing taking up resources. Perhaps Kershaw is making way for some other finishing processes.
Neil Young once said “It’s better to burn out than it is to rust” and that sentiment applies to the Camber. This knife only made its debut at the Shot Show 2014 and received positive reviews from everyone who used it.
But a young life and positive reviews don’t always mean mercy from the knife gods.
Often seen as an alternative to the S30V Blur, the Camber had a 3-inch blade made from S30V steel with a stonewashed finish. The handle was 6061-T6 anodized aluminum with Trac-Tec inserts, and the knife featured the SpeedSafe mechanism. This darn sexy knife was universally praised as a great EDC, but perhaps it simply didn’t get the sales or attention Kershaw had hoped.
The Thermite was the product of Rick Hinderer. Coming off the heels of the hugely successful Cryo series, Kershaw introduced the Thermite at the 2013 Shot Show to recapture some of that same magic. Unfortunately, the knife never lived up to Kershaw’s expectation.
That’s not to say this was a bad knife. The Thermite was another one of those knives that received glowing reviews around the web. It had a long 3.5-inch blade that opened with a flipper and the SpeedSafe mechanism. It took some design cues from Hinderer’s XM-18, such as the blade profile and grind. It had a handle with a G-10 front and 410 steel back.
All of these elements added up to a solid knife from the mind of Hinderer. Despite having the makings of hit, it simply couldn’t come out of the shadow of the Cryo.
List of Discontinued Kershaw Knives
1071BWX Tinder Personal Axe
1073X Siege Tomahawk
1028GRNBCX Buck Commander Antelope Hunter II & Zipit GRN Combo Pack, Green
1028ORBCX Buck Commander Antelope Hunter II & Zipit GRN Combo Pack, Orange
1894ORBRNBCX Buck Commander Lonerock Zipit Pro
1895ZIPBCX Buck Commander Fixed Lonerock and Zipit Combo
1896GHORBRNBCX Buck Commander Lonerock Large Fixed Blade Guthook
1898ORBRNBCX Buck Commander Lonerock Folding Drop Point
1898GHORBRNBCX Buck Commander Lonerock Folding Gut Hook